Sunday, 18 January 2015

Paper chain DIY

vintage party paper chains
Floral garlands with pull-out paper vines

Hands up who remembers playing Oranges & Lemons, Pass the Parcel and eating jelly and ice cream beneath decorations like these at kids' birthday parties in the 1970s…

vintage party paper chains
Heard it through the grapevine?

But who knew you could make them yourself with a bit (OK, a lot) of tissue paper and glue? Scroll down to find out how!

vintage party paper chains
Paper chains are for life, not just Christmas 

Tissue paper comes in really lovely shades that get even prettier as they fade with age...

vintage party paper chains
A simple floral garland

Birthdays, weddings, housewarming or garden parties, you name the occasion, these gorgeous garlands will get everyone in a happy mood.

vintage 70s paper chains
Chain reaction

All pics from Paper Chains (Search Press, 1979)

Paper Chains (Search Press 1979) cover
20p well spent at the Pilgrims Hospice charity shop in Deal, Kent

Instructions for the garland with pull-out vines (as shown in the first picture) here

Better than bunting (in my book)!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Party like it's 1978

Danish DIY party 1978
Danish disco dancing

Hope you're having as much fun as these guys are having!

And... when the party's over, how about making the chairs they're dancing around? DIY Danish design!

Click here for Side One chairs pattern and instructions, courtesy of Bright Ideas for The Home by Per Dalsgaard & Elisabeth Erichsen (MacMillan, 1978).

Wishing you a happy, creative, peaceful and prosperous new year! x

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Season of the witch

halloween mobile
Witching hour

Pumpkins are appearing in windows and on doorsteps and fancy-dress shops are stockpiling skeleton, black cat and devil outfits, as well as more outrĂ© costumes... the season of the witch must be upon us again.

Back in in 1973, Halloween was still thought of as an 'American thing' and traditions like pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and dressing up in scary costumes to go trick or treating were only just starting to drift across to British shores, which makes the fact that The Complete Book of Handicrafts (1973) featured this cute witchy mobile quite ahead of its time.

From the days when 'a mobile' was something altogether different, if you fancy making a spooky decoration to hang in your home – perhaps on the front door to show you're trick or treat-friendly, fish out a packet of pipe cleaners, click here for your free templates and instructions and find out how to DIY.


Friday, 8 August 2014

Meet the smockers

smocks and smocking
One of my favourite book titles

Following hot on the heels of last weekend's Margate Soul Weekend, Broadstairs Folk Week is now upon us and, in honour of the anticipated morris dancer invasion, I've dug out my smock book to bring you some pics of some men (women and children) modelling the very finest in rustic separates. You're welcome!

smock guy
Portobello Market?

smock guy
Stone-age man

smock guy
Get off my land

sally tuffin smock
Sally Tuffin-designed jumbo cord smock

From Smocks and Smocking (WI Books Ltd, 1980)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Drawing rooms

What the Collins Encyclopedia of Home Sewing lacks in projects worthy of sharing, it makes up for with the illustrations at the start of each chapter…


sewing room
Sewing room


home sewing cover
The cover in all its glory

I found this book in a charity shop in Margate Old Town that had a whole room dedicated to haberdashery and 1960s/70s nylon underwear!

Edited by Jean Kinmond, 1976. The wonderful illustrations are by Barry Rowe

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Le piquenique c'est fantastique

While the sun is temporarily hiding behind a big black cloud with rain falling out of it, prepare  yourself for its reappearance by making yourself this proper picnic set out of an old suitcase.

picnic set
Be the envy of your fellow park-goers

To find out what you need and how to do it, click here for free instructions. Just add a bottle of wine!

From Crafts (Book Club Associates, 1978)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Socks n sandals

Ahoy there! It's been a while... I've been down on the coast renovating a house.

Hoping to refocus on the blog in the coming weeks. Hope the socks and sandals trend has been a feature of your summer!

EDITED TO ADD: Some of you have asked for the pattern for the splendid wooly accessories in the pic; click here to make the hat, gloves, scarf  (not pictured) and socks. To be worn all together with high-heeled wedge sandals and denim shorts, naturellement!